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Cannonball Adderley/Cannonball Adderley Quintet: The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free

Track List

>Soul Virgo
>Pra Dizer Adeus (To Say Goodbye)
>Price You Got to Pay to Be Free, The
>Some Time Ago
>Painted Desert
>Down in Black Bottom
>Lonesome Stranger
>Get Up off Your Knees
>Wild-Cat Pee
>Alto Sex
>Out and In
>Scene, The

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley first gained notice as the bluesier saxophone voice on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue (John Coltrane being the other), and in the late '60s and early '70s, he was engaged in an ongoing artistic conversation with Miles, often trading musicians with him and taking the electric innovations of Bitches Brew and filtering them with through his own earthy sensibility. The height of Cannonball's fusion phase arguably came in 1970, a year that yielded no less than three live albums - all produced by David Axelrod - that have since ascended to cult favorite status. We at Real Gone have already issued one of them, the double-album Black Messiah; now, we're back with the CD debut of his double-album The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free. Drawn from a performance at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival and "live in the studio" tracks cut at Capitol, Price was a testament to Cannonball Adderley's sprawling artistic vision, embracing abstract improvisation, funky soul-jazz, hard bop, and world music. It also offered the lone lead vocal of the saxman's entire career (on Milton Nascimento's "Bridges"), and was the last Cannonball Adderley album to feature keyboardist Joe Zawinul, who contributes the key compositions "Directions," "Painted Desert," and "Rumplestiltskin." The record went to #5 on the Billboard Jazz chart and #169 on the Top 200, quite a remarkable showing given the avant-garde stylings of such numbers as "Out and In" and "Alto Sex," although the album also did include such trademark populist Cannonball fare as "Down in Black Bottom" and "Get Up off Your Knees." Features liner notes by Bill Kopp that include quotes from Cannonball's drummer at the time, Roy McCurdy, and remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision!

Album Notes

Personnel: Cannonball Adderley (vocals, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Nat Adderley, Jr. (vocals, guitar); Nat Adderley (vocals, cornet); Joe Zawinul (piano, electric piano); Roy McCurdy (drums).

Audio Remasterer: Mike Milchner.

Liner Note Author: Bill Kopp.

Photographer: James Lewis .

Jazz was undergoing a sea change in 1970 thanks to Miles Davis' electronic and structural breakthroughs, and his former sideman, Cannonball Adderley, was right in the thick of things (the two leaders shared musicians and traded influences during this period). Like Miles, the Adderleys expanded their canvas to double-LPs -- this live album being the first of a series in the double-pocket format -- and each side would be organized into nearly continuous medleys. Not only that, Cannonball still had Joe Zawinul on board, who greatly altered the texture of Cannonball's music with his floating electric piano and science-fiction interludes with a ring modulator (this would be his last album with the Quintet). Roy Booker had replaced Victor Gaskin on upright bass, Still, Cannonball was a populist at heart, and his generosity of spirit shines through this often deliciously diverse album, which ranges wildly from flat-out soul and funky grooves to Brazilian music (Milton Nascimento's "Bridges") and even possesses a cautious toe dip into the avant-garde ("Out and In"). It endures as such a document, too, since parts of it have been sampled by J Dilla, Pharcyde, Kwest the Madd Ladd, and Funkdoobiest. Along the way, we hear vocals from both Adderleys (including an exceedingly rare yet oddly charming one from Cannon on Milton Nascimento's challenging "Bridges"), a stunningly touching Cannonball testament on soprano in "Some Time Ago," and alto solos that definitely show that Cannonball had absorbed the Coltrane vocabulary. Guest Nat Adderley, Jr.'s clichéd anti-Nixon sloganeering on the title tune is just that (granted, he was only 15 years old), but his presence testifies to the close-knit, liberal family atmosphere that Cannonball encouraged. He more than compensates for it with his funky acoustic guitar playing backing his father's vocal on "Down in the Black Bottom" (the B-side for the album's rousing single "Get Up Off Your Knees") while a gospel Rhodes piano testifies. Another notable track is Zawinul's modal "Painted Desert" in its first recorded (and most likely edited) version. The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free is a fascinating snapshot of the Quintet in transition. ~ Richard S. Ginell


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